'We All Make Mistakes': Obama Accepts Rep. Joe Wilson's Apology

Despite the skepticism from the right, Democrats rallied behind the president and administration officials expressed confidence that health care legislation will pass soon.

"I don't know whether he got the Republicans or not, but look, I am confident he has a clear majority in the House and Senate for reform," Biden told "GMA's" Diane Sawyer. "I think it [Obama's speech] is going to cause an awful lot of people to have an epiphany here."

Democratic leaders echoed that sentiment but unlike in the past, hinted today that an alternative to public option is not off the table.

"I'm confident the president will sign a bill this year," Pelosi said at a news conference today. "If somebody has a better idea, put it on the table, that's what the president said. ... So far we haven't seen a better idea, but it could be there. So this is about a goal. It's not about provisions."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said there are different ways to define a public option.

"I think that the public option is in the eye of the beholder. There are different types of public options. We're going to look at all of them," he said.

President Obama Pushes for Action

In his address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night, Obama decried the "partisan spectacle" that has stymied the debate over health care in recent months.

"[T]he time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action," the president told members of the House and Senate who showed their partisanship in their reactions throughout the 45-minute speech.

Obama was interrupted more than 50 times by applause from members of Congress, including a few bipartisan gestures of approval.

The president promised again not to sign any legislation that adds to the federal deficit -- a concern voiced by some conservative Democrats -- and a line that won him a bipartisan standing ovation.

"Our health care problem is our deficit problem. Nothing else even comes close," he said. "The plan I'm proposing will cost around $900 billion over ten years -- less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans that Congress passed at the beginning of the previous administration."

President Pledged to Work on Bipartisan Solution

The president spoke directly to the nation's senior citizens to assuage concerns about Medicare dollars being used to pay for health care reform and pledged that would not happen.

"[N]ot a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan," he said. "The only thing this plan would eliminate is the hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud, as well as unwarranted subsidies in Medicare that go to insurance companies -- subsidies that do everything to pad their profits and nothing to improve your care."

Obama said his plan incorporates ideas from both Democrats and Republicans, including one advanced by his rival in last year's general election -- Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Obama said he now backs McCain's pitch to provide low-cost coverage to Americans who cannot get insurance because of a pre-existing condition.

Obama pledged to continue to work towards bipartisanship and common ground, but he issued a warning to those who he said do not have an interest in working toward real reform.

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